Inmos Factory Building

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Newport , 1982


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View of full length of facade 

Ken Kirkwood (website)     Download Original

  • View of full length of facade    
  • Side elevation    
  • Rear entrance    
  • Tension and compression bipod    
  • View of structure and service boxes    
  • Service gangway running along the roof    
  • End of truss detail    
  • Roofscape combining services and structure    
  • View of the services on the roof required for he cleaning room    
  • Cafeteria sited next to the courtyard    
  • Circulation spine and rooflights    
  • Electrical plant control room    
  • Electrical plant    
  • Internal view of deep, open plan office    
  • Internal view of lavatories    
  • Site plan    
  • Roof plan    
  • Cross section through circulation spine    
  • Long section through  circulation spine    
  • Part east elevation    
  • West elevation    
  • Section through modular bay framework    
  • Sketch showing courtyard    
  • Sketch perspective of the offices    
  • Sketch perspective showing double cantilevered roof    
  • Services in early Inmos concept drawing    
  • Model showing structural principle    
  • Exploded axonometric of Inmos structural assembly    
  • Plan showing main activities    
  • Detailed cross section through circulation spine    

Environmentally controlled office and microchip production facility designed along a central circulation spine

The brief required highly controlled conditions for the production of electronic microchips, with more conventionally serviced space housing offices, staff canteen and other facilities under the same roof.

The building had to be designed for fast construction (ready for operation within one year of starting on site) This resulted in a high degree of off-site fabrication but gave greater flexibility. The context of the commission was a government-backed drive to expand the British microchip industry: the need was for specialised production space, to be available at the earliest possible opportunity.

The structure is a tubular steel assisted span tension structure, supported by tension tie rods from the spine towers. The structural system provides uninterrupted column free spaces for maximum internal flexibility. The roof is fabricated from 6m span steel decking with thermal insulation and a five-layer roof membrane.

The scheme is divided into ’clean’ areas for microchip production and ‘dirty’ areas for ancillary. A central promenade of more than 100 metres act as the main circulation space within the building. Surmounted by banks of serving machinery above the spine and buttressed by the main roof masts, the building has a strong vertical emphasis.


  • Begun: 1982
  • Completed: 1982
  • Floor area: 8,900m2
  • Sectors: Office, Industrial
  • Address: Cardiff Road, Newport , NP10 8YJ, United Kingdom


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